Accessibility really matters in all areas of life, and this is only increasing, with more and more attention being put on this. It has now resulted in developers and designers having to really focus on their websites, to ensure they are not excluding users with disabilities on these platforms. This is also where the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) comes in, as this focusses attention on accessibility and why it remains so important.
The Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is all about really targeting these designers, developers and creators, so much more focus is being put onto digital accessibility. There are now over one billion people around the world with some form of disability, so it really is an area that needs to be looked at more, to ensure equal inclusion for all online. GAAD takes place on the third Thursday of May each year and is becoming bigger and bigger each year.
The more attention that has also been put on this, has also resulted in WCAG guidelines now being released for businesses and if they do not comply. They can now come under threat of legal action, which is something that has become much more common in the last few years with rising numbers. This is also the key reason as to why everyone should consider taking actions towards WCAG compliance, so we can see changes really be made and so it can result in a much more equal opportunity and society for all.
• What are the common disabilities and impairments?
There are many different disabilities and impairments that are covered the WCAG, and this covers the likes of Visual, Cognitive, Auditory, Physical and Speech. Visual could include simply color blindness, to low vision and then blindness. Cognitive can also cover learning and neurological disabilities. This being the likes of autism spectrum disorder, mental health disabilities or even memory impairments. Auditory would then include those people who are hard of hearing, or who may be deaf altogether. Physical disabilities are another, which includes the likes of amputation, arthritis and paralysis to name just a few. Then finally speech can cover the likes of muteness, dysarthria and stuttering. This shows that there are a vast number of areas of common disabilities and impairment’s and why more focus needs to be put on this, to ensure these are all getting equal opportunities online.
• Why is it so important to be aware of Accessibility?
It is so important as ultimately people with disabilities should have the same rights as the wider population, so that includes being able to equally engage with, learn from and communicate across the digital world. It is why so much more now needs to be done, in order to ensure change is made on this.